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July 8, 2011

my grandma, Ms. Marie

...and the beautiful quilts that grew out of her closet of clothing.


Okay, I promise, this is the very last you will hear about any sort of memorial quilt around here. I am officially retiring from cutting up clothes. But before I do, I would like to present the six Marie quilts, in memory of my grandmother Marie who passed away in October at age 98. She taught me how to crochet and embroider, skills a real Czech lady has [polka dancing, another skill a Czech lady should have, I do not].

Quilt #1: The Blue Room
My grandparents had three bedrooms, and the blue room, complete with blue walls and multi-tone blue shag carpet, was where guests always stayed. I don't remember a visit without asking "who gets to stay in the blue room??" It was my favorite room as a child because it had two touch lamps in it. So fascinating for a young engineer's mind.


original inspiration: the value quilt by Jess at sewcraftyjess

Quilt #2: Farm-girl Fancy
Marie was the daughter of the town banker. She was a classy lady. But she left the city to teach in a small schoolhouse and live on a farm with her husband Joe, where my mom and her siblings grew up plucking eggs from the chicken coup every day.


inspiration: broken dishes block

Quilt #3: Nebraska Wedding
This quilt is for my sister, who was wed to her born-and-bred Texan hubby in Nebraska so that our grandma could attend. The pinkish-purple diamonds come from the outfit that Marie wore to the big event.


inspiration: HST quilt at quiltstory

Quilt #4: Pretty in Pink
Marie's favorite, and I'm talking FAVorite color, was pink. She had this one housecoat, the pink-with-multiple-colors one in this quilt, that she wore at least once every time we visited. Sometimes it hung on the stairs to the basement so that she could throw it on and take a stroll through the deep freeze to find our dessert for dinner. This quilt is for my mama, complete with the lace from the outfit Marie wore to my mom's wedding.


Quilt #5: Go Huskers
This is the only quilt that has a touch of Grandpa Joe in it. The plain black blocks are from the suit he wore to marry Marie, way back in the 1930s. The corners have little touches of his tie collection. It was only fitting to sew them into a Huskers-colored quilt since he was an avid fan. You know, one of those that wore a fancy scarlet-and-cream outfit to the games.


Quilt #6: Corn Harvest Rows
A Nebraska farm is not complete without a few rows of grain. I tried to emulate them a bit with these HSTs.


And now they are all packed up and on their way to the family reunion to find their forever homes.

I'd like to send a special thanks to a lovely couple who lent me their yard to take these photos :) I bribed them with cookies and cupcakes. I think we're even.


  1. That is one of the icest show and tells I've ever seen or read...thank you for sharing this with us...I like your memorial quilts very muchand would love to see the faces of their new owners...

  2. Every single one of your quilts are gorgeous. I especially love the 'Farm Girl Fancy' quilt. You did an amazing job; I know they will be loved :)

  3. You are so talented! I love how they are all unique and different!

  4. This is extremely cool, Mary! Your family is going to flip out.

  5. Wow I couldn't even tell they were made out of clothes. I started following your blog to see ur memorial quilts so I hope you don't stop posting about them. I love your work.

  6. Your quilts are exquisite and will be cherished for decades. And I applaud your photography, as well. I make custom memorial quilts professionally but never get really good shots of them like you have. Thanks for sharing the stories behind each.